Shopping online? These tips will keep you safe

New technologies, and especially the rise of smartphones and tablets, have caused online purchases to increase considerably. Although companies assure us that their websites are safe to use and store credit information on, we must take into account some security tips if we are going to buy on the internet.

  1. Be careful with extraordinary prices:

You should always compare prices. By doing so, you will have a notion of the average price on the market. If you notice that in any online store the prices are extremely low, or worse, they have the same prices for all products, it is a clear sign that it is a scam.

We all look for discounts and bargains but never trust a price that looks too good to be true.

  1. Make sure they accept different types of payment:

Today the forms of payment are varied, from cash to QR codes. Keep in mind that fraudulent online stores will lead you to believe that they have multiple payment options. However, at the time of processing the payment, only card payment will be enabled.

  1. Review legal information:

A legitimate store will always have a section with the necessary legal information. It includes the terms and conditions, privacy policy, exchange, return policy, etc. It should draw your attention if there are no such details. You can also use the old way – google the company or shop and see what information about them comes up.

If you buy from a person, or the website provides details about its workers, you can conduct a little background check. Use Nuwber for that. Check if such people actually exist. See what other details come up to decide if these people are worth your trust.

  1. Protect your computer:

As you know, hackers are not waiting for a formal invitation to enter your computer, or for you to kindly share your bank details with them. So, you need to protect your devices constantly, with firewall, antivirus and anti-spyware software, a Virtual Private Network (VPN), and other specifically created programs.

Never forget to do regular updates, starting with the operating system. Also, don’t open or run files or email attachments without having them validated with an antivirus program.

Keep your browsers updated also, so that they can warn you of dangerous practices such as phishing, theft of data and identity through the Internet. Remember about SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates. That guarantees the security of the page you visit and at the same time protects your data. You can easily distinguish them when you see an icon with a padlock in your search bar.

  1. Research the web:

Look for information on the website where you are going to make the purchase. Forums, blogs, social networks, user communities – everything is valid so that you can form a reliable and fairly accurate opinion of what you want to buy and of the sites that offer more guarantees.

Our purchases are strongly linked to the opinions of other consumers. Therefore, you can doubt if a page does not have any comments. Similarly, visit their social networks to see the interaction with customers.

You will even be able to know the opinion of other users about the products and the service. Be careful, the opinions may not be real. Make sure that those who write are real people by visiting their profiles and checking their other comments.

Never fall for 1 negative or positive comments – do some research and check different opinion sources.

  1. Consider the page layout:

It is extremely important to review the overall image of the store to identify loose ends. On a secure website, there will always be consistency between what they say they sell and their products. That is, if the page claims to sell only Nike brand products, then you will only find Nike products.

In addition, there will be harmony in terms of the fonts and colors used to set the store’s interface. The layout, that is, the content organization will be easy to understand and access. A tip to check the authenticity of the store is to call the contact numbers.

  1. A unique password:

It is humanly impossible to manage all the passwords needed for each of the online accounts. A possible solution would be to use the same password for everything, something no expert recommends. For obvious reasons: if a hacker finds out what your password is, they will be able to crack all of your accounts.

The best solution is to have a password manager (there are several on the Internet), which will generate new passwords that are random, large, and with the right mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.

  1. Check the cards:

Examine your card activities regularly. Don’t wait until the end of the month for the statement to arrive. Thus, if there is any fraudulent activity, you can react more quickly. And never use a debit card for online purchases, as you will be better protected with a credit card. One more tip – try not to save credit card details on any website. Instead, provide the details manually each time.

  1. Avoid public hotspots:

Privacy is essential for shopping online safely. Therefore, avoid using public access networks, such as networks of shopping centers or cafes. Use your computer, not friends’ ones or third parties’. And prefer to be at home, away from prying eyes. Remember that amidst all this technology a curious look over your shoulder can still be the easiest way to get your credit card number and expiry date.

  1. Look for the padlock:

When making purchases online, make sure that the website has a URL that starts with ‘HTTPS’. The ‘S’ stands for ‘secure’. With this, you make sure that the page has a digital certificate and confirms its authenticity.

A user can check digital certificate with a single click on a padlock to check the certificate details. The certificate can be from reputed certificate authority. The certificate should be selected on the base of website and its number of domains, for example, if the website needs a single certificate solution for subdomains’ security then, the cheapest wildcard SSL certificate is enough. It is a cost saving cert comes with many benefits including a robust encryption. Users should move away from the website if it does not carry SSL certificate.

With all of these recommendations, it will be easier for you to identify a safe online store. Put them to the test!

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